#Modi365 top hashtag through the day. Personal DM on twitter timelines of people who follow the PM. How is Indian politics changing in times of ad blitzkriegs?
As I woke up today I was
greeted by a personal message on my twitter timeline. It was from none other
than the PM himself. His message read as follows
“ Dear Bhupendra, the past 12
months have been historic and memorable in India’s development journey. Relive
it in 12 photos, videos, speeches , tweets, posts and quotes “
As I took my morning cup of
tea and looked at the papers, the story was the same there too. Full page ads
of Prime Minister Modi being complimented for completing one year in power.
Giving him a tough competition, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa marking
her four years in power by showcasing the number of freebies she has
distributed. From mixies to laptops and even free goat.
During the day when I
switched on tv for catching up on some afternoon news, it was the same there as
well. All headlines were only about the
BJP completing one year in power.
This kind of blitzkrieg has
been unparalleled in Indian politics. Even when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the
PM, bjp would use media as a tool to sell him to the masses. But the degree was
much mellowed. Perhaps one could argue that the number of tools available were
also lesser. You didn’t have twitter or facebook in those days. So the likes of
the then BJP powerhouse Pramod Mahajan would indulge in personal calls in their
attempts to connect with the masses.
The attempt then, as is now,
was to create a personal touch. To create that personal touch you need a
product that is saleable enough. Mr Modi scores high on that front without any
doubt. But see how very cleverly, he has resisted from being a mere critique of
what was wrong earlier with the system. He is now positioning himself as the
leader who has already heralded the beginning of ache din. That’s why the
His style of politics will
always be high on hyperbole and rhetoric. There is no doubting the fact that
there is an all round change in perception about India. Mr Modi has clearly
given the impression that he is not interested in status quo. But at this point
of time, we can only judge him by his intent.
While we look at #Modi365,
also important to look at #Opposition365. Barring the second half of budget
session of parliament, there is little the opposition has to cheer. It is yet
to be in a position where it can really call the shots. All players with whom
there could have been greater unity are increasingly creating their own comfort
zones with the PM. Mamataa Banerjee is realizing that she stands to gain more
if she was not to antagonize the PM. Mayawati will forever remain hostage to
the slew of corruption cases against her. Jayalalithaa has only just managed to
win back her CM chair. The Janta Parivaar experiment of Lalu and Nitish coming
together is in danger of exploding even before it could get a life of its own.
So the rankings given by the
newspapers today, “ distinction to PM Modi “, at the end of the day could well
be a judgment on what he has declared so far. Next 365 days will be judged on
how he implements what he has promised.